KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal wants security forces to strengthen their positions along the sea border in the wake of Tuesday’s kidnapping of 10 fishermen from the Bajau Laut community.
He said it was important to beef up security resources in the right places to curb criminal activities instead of setting up base in non-strategic areas.
“I have made this suggestion. One of them is for the Lok Kawi army brigade based in Kota Kinabalu to be moved to the east coast where it is needed more.
“I think we don’t need an army camp in Lok Kawi. We need to place men where they are needed, not for political reasons but for national security.
“If we can have this sort of things, we can deter more cross-border crime,” Shafie, who is State Security Council chairman, told reporters.
He also hoped that the various security agencies, such as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), would place more assets in the east coast Tawau, Semporna and Lahad Datu districts.At about 2am yesterday, Abu-Sayyaf-linked gunmen kidnapped 10 crewmen from two fishing boats in Tabisan waters off Lahad Datu close to the Tawi-Tawi island chain in southern Philippines.
Shafie said he was aware of the kidnapping, adding those who were abducted are believed to be foreigners.
To a question on the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), he hoped the restructuring would take place soon.
“I hope the faster the better. I have given my opinion to the authorities at the top level. This is to ensure not only we are better equipped in terms of infrastructure but also intelligence so we could position ourselves better.
“We want less talk and more action to ensure we can catch these criminals. I was made to understand, it (the latest kidnapping) doesn’t involve Malaysians,” he said.